Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

100 Years of Anne with an 'E': The Centennial Study of Anne of Green Gables

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

100 Years of Anne with an 'E': The Centennial Study of Anne of Green Gables

Article excerpt

Holly Blackford (ed.), 100 Years of Anne with an 'e': The Centennial Study of Anne of Green Gables (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2009), 306pp. Paper. $29.95. ISBN 978-1-55238-252-3.

Holly Blackford's collection of twelve essays is a demonstration of the international appeal of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne novels. The contributors are gathered from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the US. The collection opens with an informative and detailed introduction on the enduring values of Anne of Green Gables.

The twelve essays range in theme from Montgomery's career and writing practices, her influence on Canadian fiction, changing perspectives on childhood, domesticity, place and identity, and Anne as film subject. The first three essays in Part I ('Writing and Placing Anne') discuss Montgomery's sources, her writing strategies, and her focus on time and place in Anne of Green Gables. Particularly interesting are chapters two and three. In chapter two, E. Holly Pike demonstrates Montgomery's skill in assessing the complexities of the literary market place by providing a unique view of how she calculated these. In chapter three, Joy Alexander explores how Anne operates in a world characterised by pre-industrial rhythms of time. The evocation of place is, Alexander argues, a primary factor in the popularity of the novel.

Part II ('Romancing Anne: Language and Silence') explores the overt romanticism of Anne, focusing on the emotional discourses in the original novel, in the remainder of the series and in the films. Hilary Emmett's essay '"Mute Misery": Speaking the Unspeakable in L.M. Montgomery's Anne books' is particularly stimulating as it focuses on what could not be said and its relation to romantic relationships both in the novels and films. …

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